Have you ever found yourself sitting at your computer thinking about writing your paper, due tomorrow, when all of a sudden you find yourself on Facebook, or checking your email three times in a row, even though you know it was empty thirty seconds ago? How did you get there? Do you remember? Sometimes you do it without even noticing.
Procrastination is a very common distraction in the life of a college student. You know you have a long list of grueling projects and assignments due, but you can’t for the life of you bring yourself to start it. Here are some tips to help you steer clear of this strong urge to avoid any type of concentration that involves … ugh… homework.
1. Sleep. This is usually the first step on every “how to” list, but that should make you realize that it is such an important part of life. When you do not sleep enough you can actually show symptoms of ADD. You will lose focus, feel groggy, and not be able to sit still without becoming overwhelmingly tired. Ever sit down to read your English book and find yourself instantly wanting to nap? Sleep deprivation causes that immediate urge to snooze.
2. Turn a big project into smaller ones. When a huge assignment feels totally overwhelming, break it up. For example, you have a paper due and you have no idea what to write. Spread it out by taking a couple of a minutes to figure out a topic, write it down and walk away. The next day write down a few points that you think you would like to include in the paper, then leave it. A couple of days later fill in the gaps and by then you will be well on your way to finishing that intimidating paper you didn’t even want to start.
3. Do work in short increments. Who wants to sit in front of a computer for hours trying to suck information out of their preoccupied brain? Not me. If you do work in short spans, say 20 minutes, it may be more tolerable. Work for a couple of minutes, when you run out of ideas, walk away. Maybe after you have gone back to it three or so times, you’ll find that its suddenly finished.
4. Do the project when it is assigned. The earlier you do the project the less time you will spend stressing over it. Start working on it the day after you receive it. You will find that the sooner it is finished the sooner you can do things that you enjoy.
5. Do your work early in the day. If you sit around all day, saying ‘I’ll do it later’ it will be haunting you for hours. If you work on assignments in the morning, they will be out of the way and free up the rest of your day.
Procrastination is hard to beat, but if you follow up on a couple of these tips, you may realize that its easy to concur.